Thursday, May 19, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Shared Driveway Haiku by David Cobb

English Original

leaves falling --
the shared driveway
suddenly all mine

Blithe Spirit, 6:1, 1996

David Cobb

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

樹葉紛紛飄落 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

树叶纷纷飘落 --

Bio Sketch

David Cobb was a British educational writer and champion of English-language haiku and haibun genres. He founded the British Haiku Society in 1990 and served as its president from 1997 to 2002. He won four Haiku Society of America Merit Book Awards, and the 1997 collection of haibun, Spring Journey to the Saxon Shore, established him as the "initiator of the haibun in Britain."

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

One Man’s Maple Moon: Goodwill Bin Tanka by Peggy Heinrich

English Original

the sweater I knit him
into the Goodwill bin ...
a snow plow 
clears the road

Forward Moving Shadows, 2012

Peggy Heinrich

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

的收集箱 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

的收集箱 ...

Bio Sketch

Peggy Heinrich's haiku had appeared in almost every haiku journal both nationally and internationally and in many anthologies. Awards include Top Prize in the Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest in both 2009 and 2010. Peeling an Orange, a collection of her haiku with photographs by John Bolivar, was published in 2009 by Modern English Tanka Press. Forward Moving Shadows, a collection of her tanka, with photographs by John Bolivar, was published in 2012.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Poetic Musings: River and Sea Haiku by Kala Ramesh

I dip my feet
in a river the river
joins the sea

Moongarlic, 4, May 2016

Kala Ramesh

Commentary: The way I see it, three totally different images weave in and out of a 12-word poem:

I dip my feet
in a river

in a river the river

the river
joins the sea

Think back to the linking equation mentioned earlier (verse C links to preceding verse B and shifts away from verse A). In this poem, we have the feet at one end of the equation (A) and the sea at the other (C). On a larger scale, one small life (feet) is being connected to something larger, the cosmos (sea), through the steady flow of existence (river). By overlapping, the images create the necessary resonance: The narrator and her feet don’t literally join the sea, but the resonance shows how everything is connected, in the same way that “petals on a wet, black bough” provide a new way to see the crowd’s faces in Ezra Pound’s famous “In a Station of the Metro”—another poem that relies on superposition for its impact.

Monday, May 16, 2022

A Room of My Own: O Canada! Our home and native land!

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XIV

O Canada! Our home and native land!
written in response to the theme for Asian Heritage Month 2022: Continuing a "legacy of greatness”

foreign experience
doesn't count in this country
he repeats ...
on the way home I feel
my feet sticking in asphalt

the Maple Leaf
flapping in summer heat ...
no Canadian experience
no job... no job
no Canadian experience

former lecturer 
now my new coworker 
at the cafe counter 
murmuring, immigrant life
is best understood backwards

from the glass jar
I grasp coins, one day’s worth
of tips
at an upscale cafe ...
my first Canadian experience

poem after poem
I write myself, an immigrant,
into Silence --
the void place where I wait
for you, Canada, to read

FYI: The title is taken from the first line of Canada's national anthem

Added: Three Hundred and Fortieth Entry,  Coronavirus Poetry Diary

laid off ...
drifting among strangers 
six feet apart

Added: reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XV

rain-stained chalk scrawl: 
this unhoused person's body
as his last address

Added: written in response both to Ottawa Citizen's May 17 opinion column: "Who won the final 2022 Ontario election debate?" and to the Apocryphal Mark Twain, who claimed, Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.

election debate
one stray barks at another
barking at another

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Hot News: A New Milestone, 1.4 M Pageviews and Call for Submissions

 My Dear Friends:

Launched on the first day of 2013, NeverEnding Story crossed the 1.4 million view mark last night (FYI: On November 5, 2021NeverEnding Story crossed the 1.3 million view mark).

I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this poetry journey. And look forward to reading your haiku and tanka. 

And join NeverEnding Story to celebrate Tanka Poetry Month and expand the readership base for tanka by tweeting at least one tanka a day throughout the month of May. The hashtags for Tanka Poetry Month are #MayTanka and #NaTankaMo. Please help spread the word about this celebration via your poetry blogs, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. 

What poetry can, must, and will always do for us: it complicates us, it doesn't "soothe."

-- Jorie Graham

The Dagger of a Poet's Mind
for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, author of "Poetry as Insurgent Art."

Strive to change the world in such a way that there’s no further need to be a dissident. Read between the lives, and write between the lines. Be committed to something outside yourself. 

after the Free Expression March
and asked 
if I carry a weapon ...
I hand over my pen

the blood
crusting to claret
on the paper ...
in the jail cell my words
stronger than steel bars

Happy Reading and Writing throughout Tanka Poetry Month


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Inhale-Exhale-Drive Haiku by Carole Johnston

English Original

turn off radio
deep inhale-exhale-drive
focus on -- rain

Carole Johnston

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Carole Johnston has been writing Japanese short form poetry for twelve years and has published haiku and tanka in various print and online journals. Her first chapbook, Journeys: Getting Lost, was published  in  2015 by Finishing Line Press. Retired from teaching, she drives around writing poems about landscape. Visit her on Twitter (@morganabag) to read more of her poetry.

Friday, May 13, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Rainy Evening Tanka by Saito Mokichi

English Original

do lament
when you fly in the sky
above this country --
geese heading south
on a rainy evening

Saito Mokichi

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

的天空中飛行 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

的天空中飞行 --
Bio Sketch

Saito Mokichi (May 14, 1882 -- February 25, 1953) was a psychiatrist and one of the most successful practitioners of the new tanka. In 1913, he published Shakko (Red Lights), a book that created a great impression not only on tanka poets but also on the literary world in general. In 1951, he received the Order of Culture.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Old Letter Tanka by Praniti Gulyani

English Original

yet again
I unfold an old letter ...
what it takes
to accept the woman
I am now

Praniti Gulyani 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

我展開一封舊信 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

我展开一封旧信 ...

Bio Sketch

An avid practitioner of the Japanese short forms of poetry, Praniti Gulyani aspires to become a full time writer when she grows up. She has published a print collection of haiku, and an ebook of haibun, both of which have been reviewed by world renowned haiku poets.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Half-Moon Haiku by Pravat Kumar Padhy

English Original

half-moon --
the child wonders
the rest

The Mainichi, 2010

Pravat Kumar Padhy 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

半月 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Pravat Kumar Padhy, a poet-scientist, did his Masters and Ph.D from IIT-Dhanbad, India. Work referred in Spectrum History of Indian Literature in EnglishAlienation in Contemporary Indian English Poetry etc. His Japanese short form of poetry appeared in many international journals. He is a recipient of Editor’s Choice Awards, Special and Honourable Mentions. His fourth collection of verses, Ripple of Resonance, is in press.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Room of My Own: The President and The Boy

written in response to Time Magazine cover story of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:  "Inside Zelensky's World"

the  boulevard 
now a maze of checkpoints ...
moonlight peeking 
through sandbags in the windows
of the presidential compound

days fly like an hour
an hour crawls like weeks ...
in the shelter
artillery fire on the screen
a world of his own

new creases
in the president's face ...
for a moment 
the boy turns off his phone
to breathe the world anew


The First Day of an Endless Nightmare

a midnight call,
It’s started... it's started
everything blurs
together in endless hours
of packing, running to nowhere

smoky twilight ...
residential streets choked
with rubble
shattered glass and debris 
(broken hearts and dreams)

a girl crying
as neighbors zip her mother
into the body bag ...
mom, mom, get out of there
your sunflowers are dying

the collapsed dome
of an Orthodox church --
peace like something
prayed for by an old man
with his mouth sewn shut

Monday, May 9, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Snowlight Haiku by Dorothy McLaughlin

English Original

no moon
looking outdoors
into snowlight

tinywords, 11:1, April 4, 2011

Dorothy McLaughlin

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Dorothy McLaughlin's poems had been inspired by her husband, daughter, son, and grandsons, her native Massachusetts, forty-five years in Somerset, New Jersey, her interest in history and mythology, and teaching. Her haiku had appeared in bottle rockets, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, tinywords, South by Southeast, and other journals and anthologies.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Special Feature: Selected Haiku and Tanka Selected for Mother's Day

                                                               New Life
                                                               for courageous yet struggling Ukrainian mothers
                                                               and the newborns of war:
                                                               cellar shelter
                                                               her newborn suckles
                                                               in sleep 

                                                               smoke-filled sky
                                                               beyond the cellar window ...
                                                               look on her baby's face

                                                               night of artillery fire
                                                               her breastmilk runs dry

                                                               Chen-ou Liu

My Dear Readers:

Today is Mother's Day, a day of honoring mothers and grandmothers for their contributions to our families, communities and society. I would like to share with you the following haiku and tanka about the different stages and impacts of motherhood:

the slow drip of rain
on the nursery roof
Vanessa Proctor

midnight rain
not yet used to

Pragya Vishnoi

mother’s blanket
the worn corners
of warmth

Rachel Sutcliffe

our laughter flows
from one street block
to another ...
mother's garden hose
spouting a rainbow

Chen-ou Liu

my mother
forgets morning glory ...
sitting by the window
she grows the flower
in her heart

Ikuyo Yoshimura

I brush
my mother’s hair
the sparks 

Peggy Willis Lyles

immobile for weeks 
I dream of my mother
playing her bagpipes
in the moonlit street ...
how we danced wild and free

Joyce Budenberg

mother’s log books:
rainfall in mm
sun in degrees
all these comings and goings
on the stage of her life

Sandra Stephenson 

Mother's Day --
although I know she's gone,
I knock
and wait for the distant
mountain to grow green

Rita Odeh

To conclude today's Special Feature Mother's Day post, I would like to share with you the following tanka written for courageous yet struggling Ukrainians who are missing their mothers today

a bouquet
of carnations wrapped
in moonlight 
all that is left
are childhood memories

Happy Mother's Day


Saturday, May 7, 2022

One Man’s Maple Moon: Father's Shoulders Tanka by Michael McClintock

English Original

I’ve this memory --
riding my father’s shoulders
into the ocean,
the poetry of things
before I could speak

Tanka of Michael McClintock, Pinterest, 2011

Michael McClintock

Chinese Translation (Traditional)
我有這樣的記憶 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

我有这样的记忆 --

Bio Sketch

Michael McClintock's lifework in haiku, tanka, and related literature spans over four decades. His many contributions to the field include six years as president of the Tanka Society of America (2004-2010) and contributing editor, essayist, and poet for dozens of journals, anthologies, landmark collections and critical studies. McClintock now lives in Clovis, California, where he works as an independent scholar, consultant for public libraries, and poet. Meals at Midnight [tanka], Sketches from the San Joaquin [haiku] and Streetlights: Poetry of Urban Life in Modern English Tanka, are some of his recent titles.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Leafless Tree Haiku by Carol Purington

English Original

leafless tree
its branches full
of setting sun

Haiku Art, 2016

Carol Purington 

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Carol Purington used tanka to capture flashes of natural loveliness and psychological insight that drifted around her rural New England home. Her second collection of tanka, Faces I Might Wear, was published in 2013.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Alley Frost Haiku by Chuck Brickley

English Original

alley frost
where he slept

Earthshine, 2017

Chuck Brickley

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

A native San Franciscan, Chuck Brickley lived in rural British Columbia for 35 years. His book of haiku, earthshine, won the THF Touchstone Award for Distinguished Books 2017; the HSA Merit Book Award 2017, Honorable Mention; and the inaugural Marianne Bluger Book Award 2020, Honourable Mention. His haibun,“Is Where The Car Is," was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2018, and another haibun, "A Banishing," received a Sonders Best Small Fiction Award nomination, 2019